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Re: Geotech

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On 18 Oct 2004, at 7:34, Padmanabhan Rajendran wrote:

> It is typical to see a list of ASTM standards in a Request for Geotechnical Services document. Is
> this necessary? Would it not suffice to include a paragraph such as, "All field work associated with
> soil boring activity, including equipment used as well as laboratory testing and reporting shall be
> in accordance with applicable ASTM standards. The bidder's need, if any, for deviation or departure
> from ASTM standards shall be indicated in the bid submittal. A list of standards proposed to be used
> by the bidder shall be included in the final geotechnical report."
> Any comments? Thanks.
> Rajendran

In working as both a structural engineer and a geotechnical engineer, I can see both sides of
this issue.  By listing the ASTM standards that you'd like applied, you, as the structural
engineer, have delineated the scope of work and the information that you are wanting to see
returned in the form of a report.  By not listing the information that you are seeking then the
geotechnical engineer doesn't know which tests to perform to give you the information that you
are wanting and to what depths you are wanting that information.

Now, with that said, if you provide a set of building plans showing what you'd like to do on
a given site, then you can submit a request for geotech services and leave it open ended so
that the geotechnical engineer gets to decide which information you need.  And he may give
you more information than you need, such as extra bore depths and extra testing which may
cost you double, triple or more than what is needed to complete the project.  Or he may not
give you a piece of information that you were looking for, such as an R-value for design of 
pavements that your client has communicated to you that they intend you use heavy equipment
on. (This being something that may not typically be included on the plans.)

I would think that you should state what you are looking for in your request, as well as provide
some building plans or at least and idea of what you are intending to design, and let the geo-
technical engineer look it over and make recommendations on where you may need more testing
and where you may reduce the testing.  If the efforts are more collaborative, then you will get
a better finished product.

Take care,
Lloyd Pack, P.E.

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